Spotlight leads the new cinema releases & trailers w/e January 29th 2016

spotlight This weekend there are seven new films out for you to choose from: contraversial clergy drama in Spotlight, Michael Bay action in 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, a mystery in One And Two, musical drama in Youth, biopic drama in The 33, CGI for kids in Capture The Flag, and psychologist psychobabble in Backtrack.

Spotlight tells the true story of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe investigation, uncovering the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese, shaking the entire Catholic Church to its core.

When the newspaper’s tenacious “Spotlight” team of reporters delve into allegations of abuse in the Catholic Church, their year-long investigation uncovers a decades-long cover-up at the highest levels of Boston’s religious, legal, and government establishment, touching off a wave of revelations around the world.

It is stacked with big names, however – Foxcatcher and Avengers: Age Of Ultron‘s Mark Ruffalo, plus Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci from everything, Billy Crudup, Paul Guilfoyle and Birdman‘s Michael Keaton – but how does the film play out?

You can also read our review of this here.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi tells the CIA’s story about protecting outposts and personnel in unstable regions, where they employ elite ex-military operators. In 2012, the threat level in Benghazi, Libya was deemed critical.

Directed by Michael Bay (yes, I know), 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi stars Pablo Schreiber, John Krasinski, Toby Stephens, David Denman, Max Martini and 24‘s James Badge Dale. It looks pretty good too, but Michael Bay is directing, at least it doesn’t quite last 3hrs like Transformers: Age Of Extinction!

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi is released in the UK on the same date as the US – January 15th 2016. Now, Jan/Feb releases which aren’t Oscar/BAFTA contenders tend to be a bit on the crap side (Taken 3, anyone?) but time will tell…

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

One And Two

Zac (Timothée Chalamet) and Eva (Kiernan Shipka) live with their parents in isolated-mysterious farmhouse. The family lives’ in the 1800s manner and doing the old-fashioned chores. When their mom becomes seriously ill, the sibling begins to discover family dark secrets and supernatural abilities to teleport themselves, which threaten a family to splintered. One and Two is the story about the bond and love between the siblings.

There’s a spooky intrigue into this film which looks like it could be worth a watch.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Youth stars Michael Caine as retired composer and conductor Fred Ballinger, and Harvey Keitel as screenwriter Mick Boyle. They’re on vacation in an elegant hotel at the foot of the Alps, looking on with curiosity and tenderness upon their children’s confused lives, Mick’s enthusiastic young writers, and the other hotel guests.

While Mick is trying to complete the screenplay for what he believes will be his last important film, Fred has no intention of resuming his musical career. But someone wants to hear him conduct again, at all costs.

Written and directed by Paolo Sorrentino, and also starring Rachel Weisz, Paul Dano, Jane Fonda and Paloma Faith appearing as herself, I wasn’t wholly sold on this despite the gravitas of the two leads, but there’s a lot of mileage in the grey pound, as shown recently with films like The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and its sequel.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

The 33 is based on the true story of when a gold and copper mine in Chile collapsed, and trapped 33 miners underground for 69 days, back in 2010, despite them only having enough food and supplies for three days.

Directed by Patricia Riggen, and starring Antonio Banderas, Rodrigo Santoro, James Brolin, Juliette Binoche, Kate del Castillo, Gabriel Byrne, Bob Gunton and Lou Diamond Phillips – where’d he go??

Alas, despite its best intentions, The 33 really does look like a Channel 5 TV movie of the week – labourious, superficial and predictable. Not predictable as in we know the outcome already, but in the way that it’s written like a bad soap opera.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Capture The Flag

Mike Goldwing, a plucky, determined 12-year old boy, is the son and grandson of NASA astronauts. His grandfather Frank, a once revered, but now forgotten retired astronaut, lives his days isolated from his family after missing out on his big chance to fly to the moon with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin as a part of the Apollo XI mission. When an eccentric billionaire sets an evil plan to fly to the moon, steal the moon’s vast mineral resources, and destroy the American flag planted by the Apollo XI team, Mike embarks on a magnificent adventure as a stowaway on the space shuttle. Accompanied by his grandfather, best friends Amy and Marty, and a clever chameleon, Mike blasts off to the moon to capture the flag and reunite his family.

If you like CGI nonsense for kids, and with no recognisable cast names, then maybe it’s for you, but this is not my bag…

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!


Psychologist Peter Bower’s life is thrown into turmoil when he discovers that the patients he has been seeing are ghosts. Risking his own sanity, Peter delves into his past to uncover a terrifying secret which only he can put right. Backtrack is a spine-chilling story from the acclaimed writer-director, Michael Petroni.

Starring Adrien Brody, Sam Neill and Robin McLeavy, this looks predictable as hell.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!